The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) is among this year’s recipients of the 16th Philippine Quality Award (PQA)- Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management.
Conferment of the award was held earlier today at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang Palace, where four other institutions, namely the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)- Region XI; Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU)-Manila; Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA); and Zamboanga Polymedic Hospital, Inc. were also bestowed the same recognition.
President Benigno S. Aquino III presented the trophy to the recipients, assisted by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) President Antonio D. Kalaw, and Philippine Society for Quality, Inc. President Florendo Maranan, among others.
In his keynote speech, President Aquino (PNoy) commended PIA for its steadfast dissemination of relevant and useful information especially in times of calamities, which in turn has saved lives of many Filipinos caught in disasters.
PNoy also lauded all PQA awardees for their pursuit of quality in their processes, services, and organizational management as it would greatly contribute to the improvement of the quality of lives of Filipinos.
The President challenged this year’s recipients to “continue to uphold a culture of quality and competence, and shun mediocrity, as this would help Filipinos achieve empowerment, progress, and prosperity, in a society of inclusiveness and opportunity.”
Meanwhile PIA Director General Jose Mari Oquiñena, in an interview, said that the award is a recognition of PIA’s excellence in providing the Filipino people with the right information that they need in decision-making and in becoming empowered citizens. “The PQA is a recognition of this (PIA’s) core value”, he said.
DG Oquiñena cited the task of the agency during super typhoon Yolanda where PIA, through its Text Blast facility, website, and social media accounts such as the Weather Watch, provided advance information to the public about the incoming typhoon.
The aftermath of the typhoon was also a crucial time for the agency, he explained, as it served as information hub for inquiries on lost relatives, instructions on how to avail of government services, and for inquiries on other government services as well.
Oquiñena also mentioned the vital role of the Media Center formed by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma as the convergence of all of PCOO’s attached agencies such as PIA, PTV4, PBS, and PNA, among others, strengthened the government’s communication among its task force for search, rescue, and relief operations; as well as in the information dissemination for victims of typhoon Yolanda, as well as to the public all throughout the country.
Government media, according to him, “bridged the information gap between the government and the Filipinos,” and this will continue in the years to come as “PIA will widen its information reach by engaging the barangay level information officers, and by conducting more dialogues through “Kapihan” and similar media outlets to intensify its information campaign,” he added.
The PQA, which was created through Executive Order 448 on Oct. 3, 1997 and was institutionalized in 2001 through Republic Act 9013, provides for a standard of excellence to help Filipino organizations achieve world-class performance in quality management and overall organizational performance and industry competitiveness.
The PQA Committee is composed of leaders from respected government agencies and private entities, with the Department of Trade and Industry as the Award Implementing Agency.